Product Photography Questions.... HELP!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by speedenboen, Aug 25, 2004.

  1. speedenboen

    speedenboen TPF Noob!

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    Hello there!

    Thank the Lord, I found this forum!!

    I'm a junior marketing manager for a small giftware company in Victora, Australia, i started at the company maybe 6 months ago, upon starting I noticed the photos that we were using for our catalogues weren't the best, they were done in house and didn't look professional AT ALL! not even close...

    ANYWAY, i was hoping that someone / everyone could give me some assistance!

    Firstly, after PLEADING with the managing director, he said i could go out and buy a roll of white paper and some lights, so below *should* be a picture of our current setup...


    [​IMG]

    .... does anyone have any suggestions after seeing this image? I have some white acrilyc board which i bought and use to diffuse the light aswell.

    Secondly, the "IT guy" at my workplace keeps telling me that we need some solid black acrilyc sheeting for taking shots of Glass and Stainless Steel cookware. I've seen the photos he's getting the idea for this from, and i don't like them. Does anyone have any suggestions for taking photos of glass and stainless steel saucepans with my current setup? I can maybe squeeze another $150 out of my boss so any small things i could probably get...

    Thridly, i thought to further demonstate my abilites (which are far from professional!) and what i'm getting with the setup, i have attached a couple more photos...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    hope i did the links right...

    the materials of the products i need to take photos are the following:
    Porcelain
    Glass Vases and Wine GLasses ( coloured and clear),
    Stainless Steel Cookware,
    Blenders,
    Plastic,
    Bone China,
    woodware (bamboo)
    any assistance with the above would be REALLY appreciated!

    Anyway.. any input would be SO VERY APPRECIATED!

    I'm really happy in this job and i would really like to impress my boss so that he listens to what i have to say more. I would be extremly grateful if anyone can help me....

    i don't think this will be the last post from me.... i'm going to need alot of help, and i hope that you all will be able to help me. Conversely, i hope that with the help that is given to me i can *someday* help another newbie on this forum!

    Thanks HEEEEAPS and in advance!
    speedbo
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm not an expert on the subject...but here's my advice anyway ;)

    Are you using film or digital?

    If you are using film....halogen lights are a different color temperature than a flash or sunlight. Typical film is balanced for flash/sunlight...so you may end up with a funny color. You can compensate by using tungsten (halogen) balanced film or by using a warming filter with regular film.

    If you are using digital...the white balance should be set to indoors or manually set in the custom mode.

    As for lighting, you are getting some shadows with that set up. An ideal set up for small objects like that would be a light box. Basically just an enclosure of white fabric with a small opening for the camera. Then the lighting will be very soft and even. You can buy a light box or make one if you are inclined.
     
  3. CQoz

    CQoz TPF Noob!

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    I also am in Australia. I do a fair bit of product shooting, both digitally and on film, and it varies a lot depending on which system you are using. However, the type of lighting you are using is too harsh; it needs to be a softer form of light. You could improve this by bouncing the light off a white reflective material and then on to your products. Also, it's not a real good idea to have your lights level with the product, it tends to stop the "form" of the subject to be evident. There is a lot of things you can do, but you really need to let us know whether it is film or digital you are using, and which camera? Also, do you have a tripod?
    ...........John[/url]
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    It's one thing to practice while learning photography, but if you want professional looking images to help your company make money, hire a professional photographer. If you want to take over those duties, take some photography classes, and in the future you can be the professional photog. The initial cost of a pro may seem expensive, but if you figure in the cost and time of mistakes, and lost revenue due to crappy photography, you'll find that they are a deal.

    I am reminded of a quote I see periodically on photography forums that goes something like this "Buy a piano, and you are a piano owner. Buy a camera and you are a photographer."

    I wish you luck, but you are going to find out to long way that lighting, and commercial photography are some of the more advanced classes in the Photog Dept, and that's because they are tough!
     
  5. Karalee

    Karalee hOtLiPs!

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    You have almost everything you need, what you need is a light tent.

    http://www.creativepro.com/story/feature/19002.html

    It will help to diffuse the light, and for a basic one all you need is a few white trash bags and a cardboard box.

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. SWFLA1

    SWFLA1 TPF Noob!

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    If you're using lights that generate any type of heat at all, you have to be VERY careful using the trashbags.... a white sheet would be a better option...harder to melt a sheet.....
     
  7. Karalee

    Karalee hOtLiPs!

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    Or dont stick the lights so close.
     
  8. speedenboen

    speedenboen TPF Noob!

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    hey everyone!

    thanks for your help so far! much appreciated!

    i forgot to mention that i am using a Canon Digital Rebel

    hope you can help me even furhter with this! thanks!
     
  9. Galaxy_Stranger

    Galaxy_Stranger TPF Noob!

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    Yeah - Lightbox/Tent is the way to go. I should know - I've never shot any of that before!

    With these kinds of objects, (and since you're shooting digital this'll be cost-effective), shoot from any kind of direction you can think of and with different light combinations. I'd include photographing strait down upon the subject.

    And for future reference - the larger the light source you have, the softer the light will be. Not the larger the bulb, but the more powerful the light source is. You're going to want to graduate to at least 200watt flash heads in the future.

    Since you've got about $150 bucks left, I might suggest purchasing a book or two on photographing shiney, highly reflective objects. They focus on exactly what you're doing and for the same reasons. They may even mention exactly what equipment they're using.

    But it looks like you're well on your way. You're getting the important details of the product. Good luck!
     
  10. LizM

    LizM TPF Noob!

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    Get some cheap imitation royal blue velvet material at the local fabric shop. It should lend a nice "richness" to the shots of the crystal.
     

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